- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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between them is whether they have a church or not :
a church-town is, of course, far superior to an ordinary
poor village.
What these people live by is not easy to say. Mostly
no doubt by fishing in the river, and trade with the
natives, especially in furs, of course—and then there
is cattle, and here and there a few reindeer are kept.
But as yet there is no agriculture to be seen.
A beautiful mild evening. Although there is a head
wind, one can stay on deck without an overcoat and
feel warm. But wc are still in latitude 64° 40’ N.,
farther north than Namsos. It does not seem that
Siberia is as cold as its nåme. The winter is cold, of
course, but the summer may be broiling hot. The worst
thing about summer is the gnats ; there are clouds of
them, and small horse-flies, too, which are even worse.
Vostrotin says that they make the cows thin, and that
the cattle are fatter in winter, when they stand in the
cold and have to be fed on hay, than when they are
out on the green pasture among the gnats and flies in
But what in heaven’s nåme is that yellow blaze
that suddenly flares up on the edge of the forest over on
the south-east ; it looks like a forest fire ! Oh, it is
only the moon slowly rising over the river-bank, while
every tree-top is sharply outlined against it. It mounts
higher and higher, and sends us a quivering band of
light over the surface of the water. It is nearly full,
as it comes up clear of the black forest. The disk and
the streak of light are a deep orange against the blue
vault and the blue water. And what a power it has ;
the whole expanse of heaven becomes a marvellous
dream of night and solitude. Not a cloud in the sky—
only a few dark banks low down in the south-west.
Along the skyline on the north-west there is still a deep

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